China launches AI chatbot based on Xi Jinping’s ideology

The launch of the ‘Xue Xi’ chatbot sparks debates on the intersection of AI, political ideology, and ethical implications.

 Crowd, Person, Plant, Potted Plant, Audience, People, Face, Head, Speech, Podium, Flower, Xi Jinping

China has unveiled an AI chatbot based on principles derived from President Xi Jinping’s political ideology. The chatbot, named ‘Xue Xi’, aims to propagate ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ through conversational interactions with users. Xi Jinping Thought, also known as ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era‘, is made up of 14 principles, including ensuring the absolute power of the Chinese Communist Party, strengthening national security and socialist values, as well as improving people’s livelihoods and well-being.

Developed by a team at Tsinghua University, ‘Xue Xi’ utilises natural language processing to engage users in discussions about Xi Jinping’s ideas on governance, socialism with Chinese characteristics, and national rejuvenation. The chatbot was trained on seven databases, six of which were mostly related to information technologies provided by China’s internet watchdog and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). 

The chatbot’s creation is the latest effort of a broader strategy to spread the Chinese leader’s ideology and an attempt to leverage technology, strengthen ideological education and promote ideological loyalty among citizens. Students have had to take classes on Xi Jinping’s Thoughts in schools, and an app called Study Xi Strong Nation was also rolled out in 2019 to allow users to learn and take quizzes about his ideologies.

Why Does It Matter?

The launch of Xue Xi raises important questions about the intersection of AI technology and political ideology. It represents China’s innovative approach to using AI for ideological dissemination, aiming to ensure widespread adherence to Xi Jinping Thought. By deploying AI in this manner, China advances its technological capabilities and seeks to shape public discourse and reinforce state-approved narratives. Critics argue that such initiatives could exacerbate issues related to censorship and surveillance, potentially limiting freedom of expression and promoting conformity to government viewpoints. Moreover, the development of ‘Xue Xi’ underscores China’s broader ambition to lead in AI development, positioning itself as a pioneer in using technology for ideological governance.